Octopus Siphon Actuator. Inspired by the octopus

The unusual underwater engine, the concept of which was borrowed from octopus was invented by scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. Most interesting is that this is quite simple unit can be printed on a 3D printer, up to two meters in the cross bar. Called the new world of technology: Octopus Siphon Actuator.

Along with their writhing tentacles, octopus and squid have another interesting feature — they swim, using water-jet travel: collect water in the cavity with gills and forcefully pushing it in the opposite direction, through a funnel, filled the role of the nozzle. This allows them to move very quickly and quietly. Scientists and engineers at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, specializing in engineering technologies have already copied this way in the motor system that can be used in boats, recreational water scooters or submarines.

Known as the Octopus Siphon Actuator, miniature prototype system consists of four linked elastomeric balls 20 x 6 cm (7.9 x 2.4 inches), each with a hydraulic piston inside. Initially, water is sucked through the hole in each ball — like squid or octopus sucks up water in his mantle. Then the cables are integrated into balls, make them shrink, thus rapidly pushing the water.

In the same way that clams fed themselves by moving the funnel through which the water, the system can also be controlled using a motor selectively to move in the right direction.

The entire device can be manufactured in a single step using a 3D-printer. Reported that the production dimensions of the balls can be increased up to two meters (6.6 feet) in diameter. According to scientists, moreover, that the commercial version of the technology allows you to quickly and almost silently to travel, but do not present a hazard to marine creatures that are constantly at risk of being cut open with screws.

Interestingly, the German researchers are not the only ones who are in the process of developing such systems. In a recent Google Science Fair in the State of Texas, teenager Alex Spirid recently demonstrated his own underwater vehicle Squid-Jet, created through bio-inspiration.

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